Hasbro: Ahead of the Game Through Licensing and Co-Branding

| About: Hasbro, Inc. (HAS)

Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) has been consistently exceeding earnings estimates over the past year. The company has posted four consecutive double-digit percentage surprises. Not surprisingly, this year's earnings estimates have jumped 23 cents to $1.84 per share over the past 60 days. Analysts are projecting 34% long-term earnings growth for the company. The stock has an impressive ROE of 19%.

Hasbro, Inc. is the world's second-largest manufacturer of toys. The company had total worldwide revenues in 2006 of $3.2 billion. In 2006, the company restructured its reporting segments, which now consist of the following segments:

  • North American segment, which is responsible for all development, marketing, and selling operations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico;
  • International Segment, which handles the same responsibilities in Europe, Asia, and Latin America;
  • Global Operations segment, which is responsible for the manufacturing and sourcing of the company's products
  • Hasbro Properties Group segment, which licenses intellectual properties to third parties for promotional and merchandising uses.
  • Hasbro has licensed the Star Wars brand from Lucasfilm and Lucas Licensing, and 2005's sales benefited from the release of the Star Wars Episode III movie. No other product line accounted for more than 10% of total company sales in 2005 or 2006.

    The company is poised to continue on the success of licensing popular characters going forward. In January of 2006, Hasbro entered into a five-year arrangement with Marvel Characters, Inc. to develop products based on Marvel's library of over 5,000 characters, including Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, XMen and Captain America. Hasbro's first major release of toys and games under the agreement will be based on the Spiderman character, and will be promoted in conjunction with the Spiderman III movie scheduled to be released in May 2007.

    In addition, Hasbro seeks to leverage the popularity of its franchises by co-branding products, such as Monopoly -- Star Wars Edition and Candy Land -- Dora Edition. Hasbro also attempts to incorporate technological advances into its products by offering DVD versions of many of its classic games. The company also keeps its core brands fresh by introducing new products, such as Trivial Pursuit: 80's Edition and Monopoly Here & Now Edition.

    On April 23, Hasbro reported first quarter financial results. Revenues increased 34% over the prior year period to $625 million, with solid results across the company's portfolio. Revenue gains in the quarter were balanced between the company's Marvel (MVL) business and all other company businesses. North American sales were up 36% in the quarter, while international sales were up 29%.

    HAS 1-yr chart: